Your inner circle, your ‘mighty’s?’

Thanking God for the blessings of my life always includes mention of those people who are ‘my team’ not in the sense that I own them, but as those who are ‘doing life’ alongside of me. Some are there just for a season, others have been part of my life for decades. Some I speak to everyday, some I connect with occasionally, but ALL are a source of joy and blessing!

My reading this morning brought me to a passage with this heading – David’s Mighty Men!”  Packed into a few verses are summaries of great exploits done by men who stood with David through the battles of life. Eleazar fought so long and so hard in one battle that “his hand grew tired and froze to the sword.” That is dedication!

There is a touching story included there that reveals the love and loyalty of those men. Take a look. “During harvest time, three of the thirty chief men came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD. “Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three mighty men.” (2 Samuel 23:13-17, NIV)

Their commander mused out loud about missing home, wishing he could drink water from the old home town well. Next thing he knew three of his friends had risked their lives to make the journey, crossing enemy lines in the process, coming and going.  

David was so moved by their gift that he didn’t drink the water! What? Yes, he honored them by making their gift an offering to the Lord, dedicating it to those ‘mighty men’ who had honored him. In another book we read that “David’s Mighty Men, … linked arms with him as he took up his kingship…” (1 Chronicles 11:10, The Message)   They were his allies, offering encouragement, surrounding him with support.

Who is on your team?  Who stands with you?
To whom are you LOYAL beyond the convenience of the moment, becoming persons of one heart and mind?
We need our ‘mighty men’ and we need to be that to others.

The wisdom of God reminds us that “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many counselors bring success.” (Proverbs 15:22-23,NLT)   Acts tells the stories of the first generation of the Church. We tend to romanticize their experiences but the truth is that they faced thorny issues, wrestled through conflict, and struggled to exist in a hostile world. Consistently, however, we read of councils being convened where they prayed, talked, fought, and found God’s wisdom.

Peter and Paul were decisive and bold leaders, but they were also willing to let God speak to them through the counsel of from the Body. Their debates over the nature of grace and the place of the Law were sharp, their words pointed. Feelings got hurt. Occasionally friendships failed. But, with the help of the Spirit, those early church leaders kept their eyes on the goal and built Christ’s Kingdom, together, because they knew the work they did was a shared effort.

Are there people in your life that you have invited to speak truthfully to you, no matter the situation?
Are there those who love you so much that they will stand with you when you fall down, lending hope when you have lost yours?
Or, are you attempting life as a “Lone Ranger” trying to live self-sufficiently?

In this era Christians need to rediscover the importance of being Christ’s Body TOGETHER. This demands the surrender of our ego, a painful death to ‘Self,’ and a willingness to serve one another. There is so much to gain IF we will build a team and stick with it. 

You know that our American ideal is to laud the individual, to tend to admire the ‘super-hero.’  For God’s sake and the work of the Lord it is time to be different, to prioritize our relationships and give time to making them stronger. Do not discard that person who offers counsel that challenges. Value that person who urges a better choice, another way.

Here is a practical word from the Word. Ask God, the Spirit, to teach you how to build a circle of “mighty’s” in your life.
“Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one;
they get a better return for their labor.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.
But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.
And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other.
But how can one be warm alone?
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NLT)

We Will Stand
(This is an older song that Russ Taff does so beautifully.
I hope it encourages you to stand together with other Christians.)

Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand
Why we pull away from each other so easily
Even though we’re all walking the same road?
Yet we build dividing walls
Between our brothers and ourselves.

But, I don’t care what label you may wear,
If you believe in Jesus you belong with me!
The bond we share is all I care to see,
And we’ll change the world forever,
If you will join with me,
Join and sing, sing.

You’re my brother, you’re my sister,
So take me by the hand.
Together we will work until He comes.
There’s no foe that can defeat us,
When we’re walking side by side,
As long as there is love,
We will stand!

The day will come when we will be as one
And with a mighty voice
Together we will proclaim that
Jesus, Jesus is King.
It will echo through the earth.
It will shake the nations.
And the world will see, see that;

You’re my brother, you’re my sister,
So take me by the hand.
Together we will work until He comes.
There’s no foe that can defeat us,
When we’re walking side by side,
As long as there is love,
We will stand!

James Hollihan | Russ Taff | Tori Taff © 1983 Word Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)

CCLI License # 810055

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